Tag: G20 Summit

CAN Statement on the 2016 G20 Summit: A strong take-off , but a bumpy landing on climate change

Hangzhou, China, 5 September 2016: Climate Action Network welcomed the US and China’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on the eve of the G20 summit here. However, civil society groups are disappointed that more countries did not follow suit.  Moreover, the final G20 communique published today was overall low on details, weak in tone and failed to make strong commitments on fighting climate change.

The communique failed to make significant progress on several of CAN demands communicated to the G20 governments

  • Though there were references to sustainable development, there was no mention of countries submitting their long-term strategies and decarbonisation plans.
  •  The summit failed to set a deadline to end fossil fuel subsidies.
  •  While looking forward to outcomes from the forthcoming Montreal Protocol and the ICAO meetings, the communique was weakly worded and did not commit to reaching an ambitious agreement on either of these meetings.
  • While stressing commitments to scale up green finance, the G20 failed to mention the need for climate-related financial disclosures or to ensure that future infrastructures would be climate-friendly and pro-poor.
  • No plans were outlined on transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy. 

Some of CAN members reacted to the outcome of the summit as below:

“Hosts to this year’s G20, China has shown great leadership on climate over the last year. Against a backdrop of declining coal consumption and rapid renewable energy growth, China has even greater potential now to match its political effort with further action...but the lack of progress on outlining a concrete timetable for the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies is a reminder that the G20’s collective action on climate change must go further. Handing out money to the fossil fuel industry is simply not compatible with the Paris Agreement,” said Li Shuo, Greenpeace East Asia’s Senior Climate Policy Adviser.

"The Paris Agreement and the SDGs have set a new framework for the global economy and the G20 can't continue with business as usual if these goals are to be put into practice. Discussions started on these issues this year, but much more needs to be done. We commend China for putting the ratification of the Paris Agreement and the greening of the financial system on the G20 agenda - it is now up to the German presidency next year to deliver concrete implementation strategies on these issues. The United States and China formally joining the Paris Agreement is a big step, as it shows that the course set by the Paris Agreement is becoming irreversible. It also increases the pressure for all EU governments to follow suit if they don't want to be left out," said Christoph Bals, Policy Director, Germanwatch

“The G20 failed to set the right priorities. They don’t seem to care for our common home. While climate change is only one of "Further Significant Global Challenges Affecting the World Economy”, the biggest problem and – at the same time – the one-size-fits-all solution G20 offers to these challenges is growth. They stick to the same old tools that have not been able to solve the climate crisis and global inequality,” said Pirmin Spiegel, General Director at the Catholic Bishops' Organisation for Development Cooperation MISEREOR

CAN believes it is imperative that the world’s most powerful economies, accounting for up to 80 percent of global emissions, take a strong lead to limit the increase in the global temperature beyond 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, as committed under the Paris Agreement; end fossil fuel subsidies; and submit long-term decarbonisation plans, among other actions.
By missing out on an opportunity to consolidate the international community’s commitment to fighting climate change, two months before the COP22 in Marrakesh, the G20 has failed to build on momentum and ambition towards a post-Paris climate agenda commensurate with the challenges facing our planet.

Contact:
For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International 
Email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org or call +918826107830

More resources:
Open letter to G20 countries 
CAN Briefing: G20 Key Demands 
G20 Communique- English

About Climate Action Network:

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 950 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org

 

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CAN Briefing: G20 Key Demands, July 2016

In December 2015, the G20, as part of the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, committed to a historic global agreement to address climate change and pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, so as to mitigate the harmful effects on the world’s people, biodiversity and the global environment.

According to the IPCC, the global carbon budget consistent with a 66% chance of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5ºC will be used up by 2021 if we carry on under current projections. For any fair likelihood of meeting the Paris temperature targets, our collective mitigation efforts need to be multiplied as soon as possible. Otherwise, our countries and economies will face severe impacts of unstoppable climate change, including social, environmental and economic instability. In recent years, we have seen the G20 countries take more serious notice of the role that climate change plays on its overall objectives, in particular its objective to promote financial stability. G20 leadership on climate change is extremely important since the greenhouse gas emissions of the G20 member countries account for approximately 81% of total global emissions. It is therefore imperative that the G20 countries start collaborating immediately on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, using their influence, to develop a consensus-building approach and focus on financial stability to drive stronger action on climate change.

Climate Action Network has eight key demands for the G20:

  • Ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible; 
  • Develop and communicate interim National Long-term Strategies for Sustainable Development and Decarbonization by 2018; 
  • Achieve an ambitious outcome on HFC phase-down this year;
  • Introduce mandatory climate-risk disclosure for investments; 
  • Remove fossil-fuel subsidies;
  • Accelerate renewable energy initiatives towards 100% RE; 
  • Ensure that new infrastructure is pro-poor and climate compatible;
  • Support effective ambition for international aviation and shipping.
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Dear Mr. Prime Minister...

In a disappointing and disheartening plenary session today, the Brazilian chair adopted the watered down draft text to be taken to world leaders tomorrow to formally adopt. As delegations clapped away at our failed future, civil society loudly protested from the back of the plenary hall. 

As a last attempt to salvage this summit, civil society has united its efforts to write a letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the G20 Summit calling for an urgent intervention to deliver ambition at the Rio+20 Earth Summit. The letter highlights that the draft text is severely lacking in ambition, urgency and political will. Countries are reluctant to commit to a bolder agenda largely because they do not believe that the money can be found to deliver the transition to a fair, prosperous and sustainable world for all.

Civil society is calling on the UK, as a member of G8, G20, UN Security Council and the European Union, to take matters into their own hands and be pioneers in this endeavor to save the planet and forge an international agreement on tackling global inequalities. To do this, three commitments are needed to transform this summit.

  1. Phase out harmful fossil fuel subsidies, with safeguards for the world poorest communities.  Commitments to begin such a process were made by the G20 at their meeting in Pittsburgh in 2009 and again in Toronto in 2010, but with almost no progress to date. Developed countries spend around $100bn a year in subsidies and tax breaks to prop up fossil fuel production, according to the OECD.
  1. Introduce a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) which has been proven by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and independent studies to be a credible, effective and development friendly tax. It is a hugely popular idea, supported by 63% of European citizens and more than 1000 economists, and could raise at least $400bn a year.
  1. Stop multinationals dodging their taxes. This would generate an extra $160 billion a year in tax revenues in poor countries alone. This is money that these companies already owe but which they are not paying.

The biggest impediment to means of implementation and finance is that the money isn’t there, but as shown above, the money is clearly there and can be easily freed up and utilized. Strong political will and even stronger leadership is needed now to push these negotiations to deliver a safe and prosperous world for everyone.

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